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Thread: From an outbuilding woodshop to a basement. The journey begins.....

  1. #1

    From an outbuilding woodshop to a basement. The journey begins.....

    After 'country living' almost our entire lives, we are moving to a house in a subdivision. We've chosen our retirement location, a thousand miles from where we currently live. The move is a slow process. We bought the house a year ago, and are spending time at each place.

    We are tired of all the time, effort and expense it takes to keep an old house on acreage going. But we had a lot of outbuildings. This detached 1.5 car garage has been my woodshop. Advantages: Easy in and out via the overhead garage door. Could make noise anytime of the day or night (no close neighbors and far enough away from the house). Didn't worry about dust getting in the house (although I should have been more concerned about my lungs). Lots of natural light. Disadvantages: Huge Wisconsin temperature swings. Days in the summer too hot & humid. Days in the Winter too cold, even with the heater. Humidity hard on the tools. Sometimes I would lose precious space to the grill or thawing out the snowblower.

    20191010_175647.jpg

    The new shop will be a space in the basement that previously was a rec room. Coincidentally, the old and new shops are exactly the same size (18ft by 25ft). Advantages are fixed temp and low humidity. Better lighting and electrical. I'll put something over the concrete that is better for my feet. Disadvantages include harder access to the shop. I'll need to go through the house and down the stairs. I'll need to get more serious about dust collection (although that's also an advantage). Neighbors won't hear me, but I'll be below the living room in our house.

    PXL_20210610_121919348.jpg


    I'll keep this thread updated with progress. First up: Remove carpet and schedule electrical. I'm also going to remove the baseboard.

    Wish me luck!

  2. #2
    Another disadvantage that I just thought of... I'll want to break down sheet goods and long lumber before taking it down to the basement shop. I've probably cut my last 4 x 8 sheet of plywood on the tablesaw.

    Maybe it's time to get a track saw. And I might leave the miter saw out in the garage.

  3. #3
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    Good luck on your journey! One thing to perhaps consider: adding an outside entry to the shop area. When we moved to our current house and I knew my shop would be in the basement, I had a concrete precast stair with a bilco door added to provide direct outside access and it's been wonderful for moving equipment and materials in and out of the shop. Obviously not as nice as a ground level garage door, but way better than schlepping stuff through the house and down a tight stair. The stair is a little steeper than I would like, but manageable. I think all told, 14 years or so ago, it cost me a few grand including excavation, cutting the doorway in the basement wall, installing the precast and bilco door, and installing an insulated door at the bottom of the stair.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford McGuire View Post
    The new shop will be a space in the basement that previously was a rec room. Coincidentally, the old and new shops are exactly the same size (18ft by 25ft). Advantages are fixed temp and low humidity. Better lighting and electrical. I'll put something over the concrete that is better for my feet. Disadvantages include harder access to the shop. I'll need to go through the house and down the stairs. I'll need to get more serious about dust collection (although that's also an advantage). Neighbors won't hear me, but I'll be below the living room in our house.

    PXL_20210610_121919348.jpg

    Wish me luck!
    Based on the two windows shown I would talk with a local contractor about an outside entrance
    An eight foot wide ramp with six foot double doors would make a big difference
    Even a precast steps with Bilco Door and an insulated door at the bottom would be better than hauling everything thru the house (have only done this for 22 years, still waiting on my outside entrance)
    Good luck and post back
    Ron

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I immediately noticed the windows and thought "DOOR!!!" even if the grade level is above the floor a little, it may be worth the time and expense of a project to provide outside entry/exit including any necessary drainage.

    That will be a nice space for sure...bright and airy. (Be sure you deal with dust control relative to HVAC if forced air is in use and a return is in the space)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I am in a basement and like it for a lot of reasons. I shut all the HVAC registers years ago and it still stays very comfortable through the seasons. Maybe 55-60° in the winter and maybe low 70s in the summer. That is comfortable for me, because we keep the living space 64-65° in the winter and 72-73° in the summer. Its a very comfortable space, and i dont spend a dime to heat/cool it. I never worry about my cast iron rusting. Its also extremely convenient to run down into the shop for short tasks like taking things out of clamps, glue ups, spraying another coat of finish etc. If i had to put on a winter jacket and boots to exit the house in the depths of winter to get to my shop across the driveway, i dont know that i would be there as frequently. Those are the pros, now for the cons. I am constantly concerned about dust migration. I have a 3hp cyclone with merv 15 filters from wynn. I also have a JDS air cleaner that i run during and after woodworking. All of my portable tools are festool with a CT for dust collection. I have not noticed dust in the upstairs living space. I now have a cheap air quality monitor and my tests never showed poor air quality upstairs. That is good news, but i also have a fair amount invested in mitigating dust in the shop. I find myself shopvaccing every weekend so dust doesnt track upstairs on shoe soles. I have a very strict NO FINISH in the basement shop. I only use water bourne stuff and its separate in a unconditioned attached single car garage. With that in mind, i think a shop in the basement can be safe and healthy. Next, the noise is something to consider. You have a drywalled ceiling and i do not. I stare at open joists and the subfloor of my kitchen and living room. As a test, i had my wife run my 20" planer and dust collector in the basement while i stood in the kitchen. Its absolutely noticeable, but surprisingly, not that loud. My wife routinely watches TV on Saturday afternoons when i am in the shop making noise directly below her. With some basic steps towards soundproofing, i think a basement shop could be reduced to very low hum of white noise. My biggest issue with a basement shop is getting machines in and out. I have a door at grade, but its not a roll up door. Moving machines of the caliber i am interested in is a herculean effort. In your case, this would just be impossible. Getting stuff like an 8" jointer into your shop with the current access sounds very challenging. Moving my 20" jointer that weighs 1800lbs into your new space would be absolutely impossible. Without exterior access, moving materials will be very annoying.

    Enjoy the new space. I think the comfort will be an enormous upgrade from your freestanding shop.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Spartanburg South Carolina
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    I think lack of an outside entrance would be a deal breaker pre-purchase but the low windows may be a good omen.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Clausen View Post
    I think lack of an outside entrance would be a deal breaker pre-purchase but the low windows may be a good omen.
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Much of it has to do with an outside entrance. Interesting suggestions about a below-grade doorway. It would be quite a project, those windows are in a window well that extends 2 ft above them. So, the yard is graded about the same as the basement ceiling. My long term plan was a sunken patio that would bring the grade down a few feet. Enough to get more daylight to the windows and possibly send long boards into the shop. But I'll keep the door entrance in mind.

    As far as an outside entrance being a deal breaker, it came down to priorities and timing. We had purchased land here, but were waiting for building costs to come down. Covid taught us not to keep putting things off, and I can work my last few years from anywhere. So, we made a wish list that included a nice shop, room for my wife and daughter's business, and a MIL suite. Everyone had to give a little and my concession was the perfect shop.

    But as long as my health remains good, I'll be adding a few more hobbies. We'll be living near world class skiing and mountain biking, two things that I enjoy.

    All in all, the tradeoffs are good, IMO.

    Next up, taking out the carpet and the baseboard. I advertised the carpet on FB Marketplace. Free to whoever hauls it away. Several were interested, but I'm giving first chance to a family that suffered flood damage. It's in good shape. Probably five years old and in a room that was rarely used.

    I'll post some more pics once the carpeting is gone.

  9. #9
    Taking the carpet out was pretty easy. We gave it away to a family that suffered flood damage. They took the padding also. They sent enough people that they were able to get the whole 18 by 25 foot piece without cutting it. I also took the base boards out. The electrician said it would make their job easier.

    I've put some tape on the floor where I think the big tools will go. And their electrical requirements taped to the wall. The electrician thinks they can do the job in less than a day.

    PXL_20210918_174543373.jpg


    From this view you can see the stairs. I'm going to build a wall and doorway at the bottom of the stairs to help with the dust and noise.

    Oh, I thought of another benefit to this basement shop. 10 foot ceilings (vs the 7ft 9in celings in my outdoor shop).

    Thanks for looking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Now would be a good time to scrap and paint the floor.
    That is a nice space!
    Please help support the Creek.


    Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.
    It’s weird being the same age as old people.

    ---

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    Now would be a good time to scrap and paint the floor.
    That is a nice space!
    I agree on both counts. Smooth that surface out and get it nice before you move even one thing into the space, once the electrical work is completed.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    Now would be a good time to scrap and paint the floor.
    That is a nice space!
    I did scrape, but didn't paint it.

    I used to have a OSB wood floor over a previous concrete floor. I put 1/2" sleepers down first and had pink foam board in between. I liked that floor and was thinking about something similar.

    After doing a lot of research, I'm going with Dricore panels. It's better than standing on concrete, has a little insulation value, and can handle stationary tools. Plus I like the informal look of OSB in a shop.

  13. #13
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    The Drycore is a very nice solution and easy to install, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    The electricians were able to get most of the work done in one day. I was happy they were able to place the subpanel in the adjoining utility room. That's more shop wall space for something else.

    I asked for a dedicated 240v 20amp for the dust collector. The bandsaw and jointer will share another 240v 20amp circuit. The drill press will have 120v 20 amps. For the table saw, I need 240v, 40 amps. I wanted flexibility for placing my table saw, so asked for outlets on both sides of the shop. Since the subpanel had room, he ran separate circuits, instead of wrestling with the heavy wiring in one box.

    Most of the wire was run through the soffit (I think that's what it's called), and just a bit had to go behind the baseboard.

    I also had them upgrade the lighting. I still have can lights, but much brighter and I can adjust the temperature of them.

    There were already plenty of outlets around the room for my smaller power tools and lights. They will be back to finish the outlets and do the inspection in the next week or two.

    PXL_20210921_121111188.jpg

    PXL_20210921_121128425.jpg

  15. #15
    OK, I'm probably going to regret this, because the flooring should be here any day. But the dust collector arrived and I brought all the boxes down to the basement. The I opened a couple, and started putting things together.

    I was surprised this arrived so quickly. On Onieda's website, there was a '10 Week Delay' warning for the V3000 with the 35 gallon drum. But it ended up on my doorstep in 3 weeks.

    I was thinking about changing to the 55 gallon drum, but if I put it under the soffit, it would be a tight fit.

    PXL_20210922_120619024.jpg

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